String Quartet No.3 in F Major, Op.18 No.1
Bernhard Molique (1802-1869) was born in the German city of Nuremberg. After studying with his father, Molique took lessons from Louis Spohr and Pietro Rovelli. After pursing a career as a touring virtuoso for several years, Molique accepted the position of Music Director to the Royal Court in Stuttgart. He also taught for several years in London at the Royal Academy of Music.
As a composer, he was largely self taught. His music shows the influence of Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Spohr. Remembered now only for his violin concertos, he wrote a considerable amount of chamber music including eight string quartets. His Third String Quartet, Op.18 No.1, is the first of a set of three which he completed in 1834. Perhaps it is only coincidental that Beethovenís Op.18 No.1 is also in F Major, yet the opening Allegro with its powerful unison figure is clearly Beethovian. Yet despite this, the music does not sound much like him, except in the thrusting quality of its yearning theme. A lovely Andante follows in which a compelling conversation between the first violin and cello. Soon the other join in the development. The next movement, though marked Minuetto, is in actuality a scherzo. The bumptious rhythm clearly recalls Beethovenís Op.18, which in turn were indebted to Haydn for this format. The main theme of the trio section as presented by the three upper voices is calmer, yet underneath, the cello quietly hammers away with a rhythmic figure from the scherzo. Again, there are echoes of Beethoven. The whirling finale, Vivace, has a certain Mendelssohn elegance to it, full of bustle and good spirits.
Out of print for more than 150 years, we are pleased to make it available where it should be of interest to both professionals and amateurs looking for a fresh work from the early Romantic era.